Bowling Green honors Pagliai’s Pizza owner

December 2nd, 2020 was declared George Nicholson day to congratulate the owner of the town’s iconic Italian restaurants for his service to the community
Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 9:46 PM EST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - Bowling Green Mayor Michael Aspacher had the honor of declaring December 2nd, 2020, as George Nicholson day in the city, congratulating his former employer and owner of BG’s iconic Pagliai’s Pizza and Campus Pollyeye’s restaurants for his contributions to the community after 53 years in business.

The Missouri native opened the restaurant in Bowling Green back in 1967 under the direction of the Pagliai brothers, Salvatori, Armond, and Haldo, when he was just 19 years old.

This came after there was already a chain of pizzerias in Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois.

“I was an employee of this Pollyeye’s location here when I was attending classes at Bowling Green State University in the late 70′s, very early 80′s,” says Mayor Aspacher, “So I’ve known George and his family for a very long time.”

Friends, family, and satisfied customers attended a ceremony at Pagliai’s Pizza on 945 S Main St. to show their appreciation to Nicholson, who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Mayor Aspacher gave Nicholson an official proclamation following a brief speech citing his community support over the years, coaching little league and high school baseball, then sponsoring teams in town along with local boy scout troops and Bowling Green City Schools.

“I became aware recently of George’s health challenges, and I was able to speak with some members of his family and some of his close friends and I indicated to them that it was important to me that our community take advantage of the opportunity to express to George our gratitude of his many contributions to the Bowling Green Community,” added Aspacher.

Nicholson spent the afternoon before and after the mayor’s arrival telling stories and recalling fond memories with those who came to show their support.

He credits the success of his restaurants to treating everyone like family.

“The noise, the excitement, the food, it’s a great place to be.”

Nicholson also mentioned how both Pagliai’s and Campus Pollyeye’s had suffered due to the pandemic, but he is hopeful for the future.

“We’ve lost probably $8,000 dollars a week in business, but when COVID is over, they’ll all be back.”

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